The first-leg of the Champions League quarter-final between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid finished 0-0 at the Estadio Vicente Calderon – and while there’s little to be spoken of in terms of football, the game predictably saw the Spanish rivals share some nasty moments.
The first-half was a dominant display from Carlo Ancelotti’s side with Gareth Bale so nearly putting his team ahead after just four minutes of play, and later in the half the Welsh wizard let fly a beauty, leading to an awkward save from Jan Oblak.
Atletico were undoubtedly second-best throughout the first 45 minutes, and Real should really have gone into the dressing-room at half-time with a lead. However, the Spanish giants simply couldn’t take advantage of their possession or excellent chances, and it was to be one of those nights for Cristiano Ronaldo and co.
The second-half was a tame affair in terms of chances – but certainly not in terms of controversy.
Mario Mandzukic was at the centre of the drama, as a clash with Sergio Ramos in the box resulted in Mandzukic’s face covered in blood after the Spaniard elbowed the striker in the face.
Accidental or not, the clash certainly infuriated the Croatian, who became a menace to Real Madrid for the remainder of the game – and his altercation with the Spaniard was not the last of his troubles.
He was again involved in a scuffle in the box, which unbelievably went unnoticed by the officials.
The Croatia international grabbed the shirt of Real right-back Dani Carvajal who astonishingly reacted by throwing a punch in the forward’s stomach.
An act of madness from the defender, but one that he is likely to get away with.
The goalless draw leaves both teams with all to play for in the second-leg at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, and we expect tempers to be even more flared with Carlo Ancelotti and Diego Simeone desperate to secure a place in the semi-finals over their arch-rivals.